Bias Response Team (BRT)

If you have experienced or witnessed an incidence of Bias,

you may Submit a report or tip here.

you will be given the option to remain anonymous.

 

The Nature of Our Community

Lafayette College believes that diversity is fundamental to the education of its students because it helps prepare them to pursue lives of significance as leaders in an increasingly interconnected, globalized world. Diversity at the College is about creating and maintaining meaningful intercultural awareness that promotes a welcoming, inclusive, respectful, and equitable community that gives voice to a wide range of intellectual perspectives and worldviews. We feel that these attributes can best be learned in an environment that models and encourages their practice—both inside and outside the classroom.

We hold each other to high standards and strive to create a caring and supportive community. We know from experience, however, that situations will occur that strain these communal bonds. We have, therefore, devised a way to address such circumstances as they arise.

 

Purpose

The Bias Response Team (BRT) was established by a coalition of students, faculty, and administrators to provide a mechanism to respond to acts of intolerance and to resolve conflicts in a spirit of civil discourse and mutual accountability. Bias or hate incidents of any kind are contrary to the aforementioned principles and threaten the safety, well-being, and educational experience of all members of our community. Such incidents will not be tolerated and will be addressed whenever and wherever they occur. The Lafayette College Bias Response Team (BRT)  will make recommendations to the Vice President for Campus Life for comprehensive educational and supportive responses to incidents of bias on campus. In addition, the BRT will be a campus-wide public presence to encourage individuals who have been targets of or witnesses to bias-related incidents to report these incidents.

 

The Bias Response Team

  • Describes a safe way for those affected by bias to seek assistance or report incidents
  • Provides a comprehensive, coordinated, proportionate, and timely response to incidents of bias
  • Creates opportunities for dialogue
  • Signals to the community that the College takes these matters seriously

 

Bias Response process

  1. Incident reported in one of the following ways: through the Qualtrics survey link, by a report to Public Safety, by a Resident Advisor, directly to a member of the Bias Response Team, or to any member of the faculty or staff (who will report to the BRT chair)
  2. Urgent Response Team convenes within one business day after report is received, whenever possible
  3. Urgent Response Team determines appropriate response and sets response into motion
  4. Incident and response discussed at next Advisory Committee Meeting
  5. Incidents will be complied into annual report

 

2016-17 Bias Response team consists of two sub-sets of members:

  1. URGENT RESPONSE TEAM

The Urgent Response Team will strive to meet within one business one of reported incident, if urgent, to determine and appropriate, immediate response.

The Urgent Response Team will include:

  • Alexandra Hendrickson – College Chaplain and Director of Religious & Spiritual Life (Chairperson)
  • Paul J. McLoughlin II, Ph.D. – Dean of Students
  • Jennifer Dize – Director of Student Conduct
  • Laura Syvertson – Staff Counselor, Lafayette Counseling Center
  • Jessica Carr – Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
  • Julie Mulé – Associate Director of Residence Life
  • Jim Meyer – Associate Director and Chief of Police, Public Safety

2. ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Advisory Committee will meet three times each semester, to debrief incidents reported since the previous meetings, to discuss education and prevention events, and to advise the chair of the Bias Response Team.

The Advisory Committee will include:

  • Alexandra Hendrickson – College Chaplain and Director of Religious & Spiritual Life (Chairperson)
  • Erica D’Agostino – Dean of Advising and Co-curricular Programs
  • Danialie Fertile – Office of Intercultural Development Fellow
  • Jessica Carr – Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
  • Michael Feola – Assistant Professor of Government & Law
  • Olivia Boyd ’19
  • Nirupa Basnet ’17
  • Charles Evans ’19

 

Definitions

Bias-Related Incident*

A “bias-related incident” is any incident in which an action taken by a person or group is perceived to be malicious or discriminatory toward another person or group. Such actions may be based on bias or prejudice relating to such characteristics as race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity or any situation in which inter-group tensions exist based on such group characteristics.

Bias-related incidents may be violations of criminal law, such as hate crimes, or violations of civil law, such as unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, education, or public accommodations.

Hate Crime*

In Pennsylvania, the legal definition of a hate crime is determined by Pennsylvania’s “Hate Crime” Law, the Ethnic Intimidation and Institutional Vandalism Act. A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against persons, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender’s bias against a specific characteristic of an individual or a group such as race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

College Policies

Bias-motivated behaviors that violate provisions of the Lafayette College Code of Conduct or Pennsylvania state law will be addressed through the College’s disciplinary process and/or the criminal courts. Discriminatory or bias-motivated behaviors that violate neither the law nor the Code of Conduct will be addressed through a conflict-resolution process. Examples of bias-related incidents include assault, damage to property/vandalism, defacing signs or images, harassment, physical confrontation, threatening communications (written or electronic), written or verbal slurs, etc.

*Source: www.stopbias.org, the website for Pennsylvania’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension.

Student Leadership and Involvement

Student Leadership and Involvement promotes a diverse and active lifestyle for Lafayette students. Check out the variety of programs and events available for the entire campus community.
Visit the SLI site

RSS Voices Blog

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  • A Jump to Another World: Six Weeks in Germany September 2, 2015
    By Jennifer Salvatore ’18 Coming home from freshman year of college on a Sunday in May, I was ready to see my old high school friends, ready to go to my favorite pizza shop and ready to sleep in my own bed. I was ready to relax and go back to everything I was familiar with. But just […]
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Contact Information

Division of Campus Life
101 Hogg Hall
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 330- 5082